Paul Nicholls: ruled out Movewiththetimes on Sunday afternoon
PICTURE:Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
By Peter Scargill 3:15pM 12 MAR 2017
MOVEWITHTHETIMES is the latest horse to miss the Cheltenham Festival next week after a pulled muscle ruled him out of the Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle.
The race will also be without Neon Wolf, who heads to the Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle on Wednesday instead, and Moon Racer, who contests the Stan James Champion Hurdle.
Movewiththetimes had been a 6-1 shot for the Supreme and his trainer Paul Nicholls told Betfair on Sunday: “Movewiththetimes was a little bit sore behind after a routine canter this morning and it looks like he has pulled a muscle behind.
“I’m gutted that he will not be able to go to Cheltenham as he was one of my best chances of the week. As it doesn’t look too serious we will try to have him ready for Aintree or maybe Punchestown.”
Melon and Ballyandy strengthened their position as favourite and second favourite respectively after the withdrawal of Movewiththetimes and Neon Wolf.
The unbeaten Neon Wolf was a general 7-4 favourite for the Neptune before Fry’s announcement, but also had the option of running in the Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, for which he was 4-1.
Fry added impressive Warwick winner American, who has entries in the RSA and National Hunt Chase, will miss the festival due to drying ground.
Neon Wolf had been the subject of plenty of support in the Supreme market over the past two weeks, but the same drying ground that has cost American a shot at festival glory appears to have contributed to Fry’s decision to opt for the longer Neptune.
The Willie Mullins-trained Bacardys, a Grade 1 winner at Leopardstown on his last start, is next best in the Neptune betting at a general 3-1.